When it comes to pregnancy, the mother wants to make sure that their baby will come out safely and healthily. Unfortunately, there are many things that can cause birth defect in the baby. Lacking of folic acid is one of the factors. In this article, we are going to discuss about folic acid and pregnancy. It is important for you to understand the relationship and apply it for your situation.
There was a study in Israel several years ago. More than eighty thousands babies were born at a medical center. The study showed that medication taken during the first trimester can affect the health of the babies. The mothers who took medicines that block folic acid doubled the risk of having congenital malformations in the babies.
There were many teams which involved in the study including epidemiologists, pediatricians, clinical pharmacologists, obstetricians and gynecologists. They examined the data on birth and abortion in Israel during 1998-2007.
There are some medications that work as folic acid inhibitors. The drugs include the antibiotics, trimethoprim, sulfasalazine and the chemotherapy, methotrexate. The antibiotics here are used for treating ulcerative colitis. The medicines prevent folic acid from being converted to its active metabolites.
Some of the anti-epileptic drugs and cholesterol lowering drugs can reduce serum and tissue concentrations of folic acid. This is not good for the pregnancy.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid can also be called folate or folacin. It is the essential substance for the new cells to be formed. This is important for everyone, young or old. It is even more important for pregnant women. They need the acid for healthy fetal forming during pregnancy. You will need adequate amount of folic acid during your early pregnancy so that you can prevent neurological and spinal birth defects in your child.
So, what do we learn from the study? We have to avoid those drugs and make sure that we have enough folic acid. A lot of doctors now recommend folic acid as food supplement during the first trimester of pregnancy. You can find the acid in leafy green vegetables, grains, dried beans, peas, nuts and some fruits.
Major birth defect from the lack of folate includes spina bifida or open spine. This is caused by the incomplete connection between fetal spinal cords. The nerves will be damaged and the child may experience paralysis of legs. The kid may have fluid in the brain and has learning difficulty. The bad news is there is no cure for this defect. Therefore, it is better to prevent it in the first place.